THE king got worried. So he made an announcement throughout his kingdom over the drumbeat and offered a prize of 300 golden coins to whosoever would correctly interpret the dream.
The farmer Shreeranga heard the announcement. His mouth started watering. He was ashamed to approach the wise sparrow for the interpretation of the dream as he had cheated the little sparrow last time.
Shreeranga went on wandering in the woods with an uneasy mind. Lo, even though Shreeranga could not detect the sparrow, that tiny bird recognised Shreeranga.
The sparrow said, “Oh my friend so you have come. I had no doubt about your arrival. But this time I won’t help you as you had cheated me previously.”
“Extremely sorry. Forgive me please”, pleaded Shreeranga.
“This time, will you stick to your promise? Will you promptly pay me half the prize amount i.e. 150 gold coins?” asked the sparrow.
“Sure. It’s my promise” said Shreeranga.
“So hear patiently. The sword and blood signify violence and bloodshed. The repeated appearance of sharp dagger with dripping blood indicates that the atmosphere in the kingdom is surcharged with violence and killings. Go and tell the king accordingly,” said the sparrow.
Shreeranga promptly appeared before the king and presented his interpretation before his Majesty. The king counterchecked the position. The king was shocked to notice that loot, arson and murder had become almost an order of the day. The king on the one hand initiated harsh measures to wipe out the violent tendencies and on the other he encouraged saints and seers to spread their benevolent messages with greater enthusiasm.
The king rewarded Shreeranga with 300 golden coins as already announced.
The rich reward changed the mind of Shreeranga. Leave aside sharing the prize with the sparrow, straightway he lifted a gun and went on killing one sparrow after the other in the jungle. As he could not recognise the wise sparrow he preferred to wipe-out the sparrow-community. In this way the demon in Shreeranga played a havoc.
Two years rolled on. Once again the king had a new dream. This time it was a tiny white dove sitting on the shoulders of the king. Driven away it came down on the lap. Moved away, it landed down on the head of the king.
True, the king enjoyed the company of the dove. But its continuous contact made the king restless.
Once again, announcement was made over a drumbeat that one who could read the dream correctly would get 500 golden coins by way of reward.
Shreeranga heard the announcement. He felt extremely sorry for having destroyed almost the community of sparrows from the surrounding. Surprisingly, the divine sparrow had escaped from the killing spree.
Shreeranga cried and cried before the sparrow rolling his body in mud and pleaded that the little bird should forgive him for his ghastly deed. The little sparrow was kind at heart. Relying on Shreeranga’s pleadings, the sparrow narrated to Shreeranga the interpretation of dove-dream with prior assurance that Shreeranga would share half the prize with him.
Shreeranga once again approached the king and as explained by the sparrow told the king that dove stands for peace and righteousness. The repeated appearance of dove clearly hinted that peace prosperity and happiness are close ahead.
The king reviewed the position in his kingdom. To his satisfaction the king found that temple bells were ringing all the while, saints were singing sweet songs in praise of the God. Cheats and thieves had almost no place in the society.
Shreeranga was awarded 500 gold coins by way of prize. Shreeranga collected the prize in all humility and instead of going home, he proceeded directly to the jungle to offer half the prize to the kind hearted sparrow.
Shreeranga prostrated before the sparrow and he requested the sparrow to accept 250 gold coins.
The sparrow laughed over the offer. The sparrow did not touch the gold. It said “I was quite sure that this time you will definitely come. We little birds never store any wealth in any form. God is great. He takes all our care. Of what use are these coins to us?”
“Diseases are airborne. Similarly, thoughts both good or bad, deeds both good or bad, mutely, quietly travel through the air. Just see, four years back cheats were rampant. Unwillingly, you felt like cheating me and you did act likewise. Two years back murders, killers had a field day. You breathed that air. So you dared to lift the shotgun and started killing the sparrows. Now that people are religious-minded, righteous, benevolent, you have been honest enough to come running to me and handover to me my share of the prize. But as I told you, we birds don’t have any attraction for wealth. So take it away and be happy,” said the sparrow.
With these words, the little sparrow flew away never to meet again. (Concluded)